According to former New York Times writer (and current CEO and editor-in-chief of The Wrap) Sharon Waxman, she had planned to publish a story on Weinstein's reported sexual misconduct for the Times over a decade ago, specifically looking into Miramax's Italian head Fabrizio Lombardo. "I was warned from the beginning", she wrote. Waxman says Weinstein's efforts to stop the story allegedly included calls from Matt Damon and Russell Crowe defending Lombardo.
That concession by Waxman has already drawn fire on social media, with Waxman facing criticism for placing what many will see as undue emphasis on the intercession of Damon and Crowe in the original story. "Harvey had called me and said, they're writing a story about Fabrizio, who I knew from 'The Talented Mr. Ripley.' He had organized our premiere in Italy and so I knew him in a professional capacity and I'd had dinner at his house", "The Martian" star said. "I just wouldn't do that".
"We know this stuff goes on in the world". And that when Weinstein told Damon that Waxman was publishing a negative story on Lombardo, Weinstein asked the actor to relay his experiences working with the Miramax executive. We vouch for each other, all the time, and it didn't even make her article. "I never saw this". "The story I reported never ran", Waxman wrote. The actor said that he "had perfectly professional experiences with Fabrizio", and that he "didn't mind telling her that". Can you just call and tell her what your experience with Fabrizio was.
Now that Harvey Weinstein has been fired from TWC as of yesterday, the question now turns to who knew about his history of sexual misconduct and who helped to enable him. The story was supposedly gutted to remove any mention of sexual misconduct after associates of the Hollywood executive, reportedly including Damon and Russell Crowe, called to vouch for Lombardo at the behest of Weinstein.
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The actor said that "even before I was famous, I didn't abide this kind of behavior". This is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night.
Also commenting on the allegations against Weinstein, Damon added: "If there was ever an event that I was at and Harvey was doing this kind of thing and I didn't see it, then I am so deeply sorry, because I would have stopped it". He said, "I think that people weren't looking, because in some ways, a lecherous guy with money picking up younger girls is unfortunately not a news story in our society". The story is these women and what happened to them. But if you read her own description, she did not have anything near what was revealed in our story. Credit Chris Pizzello/Invision, via Associated Press I wasn't here in 2004.
Co-Chairman of Creative Artists Agency Bryan Lourd, director Ben Affleck and co-chairman of The Weinstein Company Harvey Weinstein attend the 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards held at Barker Hangar on January 10, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. Waxman notes that she was still a relatively new hire at The Times in 2004.